Football

Arsenal drawn with Milan in Europa League last 16

Arsenal were drawn on Friday with seven-time European champions AC Milan in the Round of 16 of the Europa League.

The Gunners had lost 2-1 to Swedish minnows Ostersunds in the last 32, second leg at the Emirates, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate, while AC Milan pipped Bulgarian side Ludogorets 1-0 to win 4-0 over two legs.

Arsene Wenger's men, whose next match is the League Cup final against Manchester City on Monday morning (Singapore time), will face Gennaro Gattuso's side in the first leg of the last-16 tie at the San Siro on March 8.

The Italian team, however, does not have a good record in England. Milan have not won in six visits to EPL sides (D3 L3), since a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the first knockout round of the Champions League in 2004/05.

Although Milan, playing in Europe after a three-year absence, have improved under former player Gattuso who has taken them on an 11-match unbeaten run, they are adrift in the race for Champions League places, lying seventh in Serie A, reported AFP.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SPOT

Arsenal, who failed to qualify for the Champions League this season for the first time for 20 years, look unlikely to get back in via a top-four finish in the Premier League.

With a Champions League spot up for grabs for the Europa League winners, the clash between the two powerhouses takes on added significance.

The six previous matches between the sides have seen both win twice, Arsenal prevailing 3-0 in the most recent clash at The Emirates having lost 0-4 in the San Siro in the first leg of their 2012 Champions League tie.

Milan team manager Christian Abbiati expects “a beautiful match” against the Gunners, even if “it’s not the Arsenal of the past”.

“At the end, there were four teams, and honestly at that point I was thinking of drawing RB Salzburg,” Abbiati told Sky after the ceremony.

“It’s a fascinating, historic tie with Arsenal. It will be a beautiful match. It’s not the Arsenal of the past, but to face them at this moment is positive for us, despite the tour de force we’re experiencing."

In other ties, Atletico Madrid drew Lokomotiv Moscow, the day after another Spanish-Russian game, between Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow, was marred by violence. Bilbao were paired with Marseille for the matches on March 8 and 15.

German side Borussia Dortmund, who grabbed a 1-1 last 32, second-leg draw with Italy's Atalanta through a late equaliser from Marcel Schmelzer to progress on a 4-3 aggregate victory, will meet Austrian team FC Salzburg. 

EUROPA LEAGUEarsenalac milan